body dysmorphic disorder

‘Why would you do this to yourself? This is just bizarre.’ It’s hard to look in the mirror and see the damage I’ve done.’: Woman shares her history of self-mutilation and bulimia

“Sometimes I’d hit a vein and the blood would shoot out in an arc, creating stripes across the mirror and pouring into the sink. I was cutting away everything seemingly imperfect. Pulling out little threads which turned out to be nerves, partially paralyzing my lower lip and bits of my chin. I still didn’t stop.”

‘I regret this so much. I’ll never see my daughter again.’ My lips turned gray, my skin white. I faded out of consciousness.’: Woman urges ‘it will get better’ after survived suicide attempt, ‘Storms don’t last forever’

“I was always told, ‘You will never be anything.’ My family didn’t believe I was struggling. I was very good at hiding it. When it did show, they called it a ‘phase.’ I convinced myself no one would notice if I was dead. I had made my decision. Nobody could change my mind. In my bedroom, I wrote my goodbyes and I did it. I started going in and out of consciousness. I could see bright colors. My vision went blurry.”

‘Your legs are covered in FAT.’ I bought diet pills from China. They made my heart race. ‘The risks are worth it,’ I thought.’: Woman battles anorexia, describes it like an ‘abuser who is hurting you, yet you want to protect him’

“I had no idea what the ingredients were! They made me feel weak, extremely thirsty… The pills even made the news as a girl ended up with a colostomy bag because of side effects. This didn’t scare me. ‘The risks are worth it,’ I thought. ‘I am not THAT sick!’ I had huge arguments with family. I was never afraid of dying.”

‘She’s a size 5 now.’ Those words were spoken with delicacy, and met with silence. They’d call me ‘the big one’ of our friend group.’: Woman beats anorexia after almost ‘wasting away, dying,’ now inspires others to recover, ‘I’m not alone’

“Thanksgiving break in my sophomore year of college, something specific happened. To this day I can remember the horrible pain I felt that night. I was using diet pills, purging, self-harming. I was a mess. I told myself, ‘This is what you deserve.’ I was given an ultimatum. ‘Move home and go to treatment, or you’re on your own.’ Frightened, I listened.”

‘Our beautiful, once vibrant Sarah is now a shell of a human.’ I was spiraling out of control. A monster was being born.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, ‘struggling is not a character flaw. You are worthy of help.’

“I was struggling in secret, terrified someone would find out. Bit-by-bit, I was disappearing. ‘You don’t need to use your body to show you’re hurting.’ School no longer mattered, and a monster was being born. Everyone walked on eggshells around me. Then all of a sudden, my parents learned what was happening. They were shocked.”

‘Watch what you eat. Work harder in the gym.’ I started purging. To be better means to be smaller.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, uses her recovery to help other young women change their way of thinking

“‘I feel fat’ was one of my most commonly used phrases growing up. Most people worry about zits and grades, I was worried about staying alive. ‘You didn’t fight for so long to just give into the eating disorder now.’ Six months later, a woman walked into the store. She lit up. ‘Oh it’s you, you helped my daughter!’ I had no clue who she was. ‘My daughter is the one you talked to six months ago!’ Not only was she doing better, but she was ready to share her story ‘like the girl in Lawrence.’ How proud it made me.”

‘I was so skinny my ribs poked through my shirt. I was an easy target. I couldn’t fight back.’: Man battles ‘body dysmorphia’ after years of bullying, finds ‘confidence’ in new body

“I was pushed around, thrown, kicked until I passed out. I looked in the mirror and felt ashamed of how I looked. I didn’t tell anyone what was going on. Until one day I fell to the floor at my mom’s house and cried like I never had and talked about driving off a bridge. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for my mom to see her 6’8″ son breaking down in front of her, not knowing how to help.”

‘Do you ever worry about dying? You’re killing yourself.’ She was right.’: ‘Misguided teenager’ credits her unexpected pregnancy for saving her life after ‘horrible’ eating disorder

“I found out I was pregnant. I was confused with shock and happiness, but I was so scared. How could someone like me, who can barely keep herself alive, care for someone else? I couldn’t even give myself nourishment, so how was this small baby supposed to get any? I had my first ultrasound, and everything was crystal clear. I was going to make this small dot live, no matter what. It wasn’t about me anymore. It was about this small being inside me that NEEDED me.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: